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Old 08-10-2006, 07:10 AM   #1
Cap'n Jewbeard
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Default Peach wine is a trip, y'all!

So I finally got SWMBO in on the act last Saturday- we sat down with about 15 recently frozen peaches, pitted 'em, smooshed 'em all to hell, and started a peach wine going. (Which, in accordance with my line of brews, will be called "The Captain's Comfort).

4 days later, I see no airlock activity. I wonder to myself: Why is this so?

I commit a minor sin and open the bucket, to find all of the peach solids CAKED on the top of the must. It then occurs to me:

1) I have never vinted with whole fruit before, but I hear of this happening with grape wines all the time (in fact, it's supposedly good).

2) That cap was holding in quite a bit of C02.

So, since I once heard that it's a good idea to paddle that cap back into the must once in a while, I did so- released a TON of gas.

Took a hydro reading (it dropped from 1080 to 1060 in 4 days), tasted it (like fizzy, sweet peach juice), and decided that there's nothing wrong with the progress so far.

I am stoked! This is totally cool! The next time I open it, I may take pics of the must cap. Wheeee!



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Old 08-10-2006, 01:58 PM   #2
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When I make fruit wines, I always leave them in the primary until the s.g. is around 1.020 and stir very frequently. I don't use a lid, just a muslin or towel cover to keep fruitflies out. (I use campden tablets initially for so2) There's always tons of co2 coming out. This only takes a few days usually. It seems like it speeds down to 1.020, and then takes a looooong time to finish fermenting when I put it in the carboy. My fruit is always floating, so I take a sanitized paddle and push and stir,

I bet the smell of that peach wine is awesome! Let me know how this turns out- I might want to try it sometime if I get some good peaches.

Lorena



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Old 08-10-2006, 02:52 PM   #3
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Yes indeed, it smells wonderful!

It seems to have lost some of the pinkish wonderful color it had when I first started it, but I think a lot of that was particulate matter that is now coming out. I'm wondering whether to isinglass it later, or just leave it cloudy and pectin-tacular in the spirit of a true country wine.

Now that I've stirred it up and broken the cap, by the way, it's bubbling along just fine!

For a sweet wine, what would you say the FG should be (approx). We're not shooting for 1.000 here, right?

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Old 08-10-2006, 11:15 PM   #4
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I use a little pectic enzyme in my country wines, and I've never had to use finings. Of course, I'm a patient soul and my dandelion still hasn't cleared. The only peach wine I've seen had no color at all, not even a blush to it. It was a completely clear white wine with wonderful peach flavor and aroma.

I like dry wines, but I think most people like them sweet or at least off-dry. The scale I've seen used is this one: (I'm going from memory, so double check this!)

under 1.000- dry
1.001-1.010- off dry
1.011-1.020 semi-sweet
1.021 and up- sweet.

They actually have these set for entries in contest, because what's "sweet" for one person might not be for another. I think the peach wine I've tried was in the neighborhood of 1.020. Tasty, but way too sweet for me. If you do a search for the correct s.g. designations, I'm sure you'll find it. I'd probably finish it dry to off-dry for a dinner wine, semi-sweet for a dessert wine.

Lorena

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Old 08-14-2006, 07:53 PM   #5
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Lorenae,

I have heard you use the terms campden, sorbate, sulfite - being a newB want to be vinter, how do I get to understand what you are talking about. All I want to do is add fruit and yeast and wait.

Thanks

- WW

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Old 08-14-2006, 10:28 PM   #6
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The sorbate and campden are used pretty typically by home winemakers, and not at all difficult to use. The campden is potassium metasulfite, and that's used to kill bacteria/mold/yeast on fruit and to halt fermentation of wild yeasts. You just add that to your fruit and then every other racking. The sorbate is used to stop fermentation/stabilize wine, because many winemakers like to sweeten their wine. Most yeast wines take the wine to dry, so you have to backsweeten if you want it off-dry. When you sweeten, if you don't sorbate, you'll restart fermentation.

I'm a newbie winemaker myself- but I've been learning fast. Even with the Welche's grape juice recipe, a few additions like that make all the difference between something drinkable and something good. My favorite wine site on the web is Jack keller's: http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/prelude.asp

It'll help so much!

Lorena



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